News Essentials: 22nd May 2021

A brief summary of the essential family law news and cases from the last week: 


Judges must consider interests of child when sentencing mother, urges Committee
The Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights has tabled new clauses to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill to protect right to family life of children when their mother is sentenced. Full story: Family Law Week.

Dramatic rise in child poverty in North East England in the last five years shows the scale of the ‘levelling up’ challenge
Newly released figures have revealed that even before the pandemic, in some parts of the UK, the majority of children were growing up in poverty, once housing costs are taken into account. Full story: Family Law Week.

Fees in the Family and Civil Courts – main fees
HM Courts and Tribunals Service has published a list of revised fees for the Family and Civil Courts came into force on 18 May 2021. Full story: Family Law Week.

New private law cases received by Cafcass in April rose by more than 40 per cent
Cafcass received a total of 3,648 new private law cases in April 2021 which is 1,092 cases (42.7 per cent) more than the same period in 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.

New public law cases received by Cafcass fell slightly in April
Cafcass received 1,332 new public law cases in April 2021 featuring 2,099 children; this represents a decrease of 2.3 per cent (31 public law cases) and a decrease of 7.0 per cent (159 children) on the 1,363 new public law cases received and the 2,258 children on those cases in April 2020. Full story: Family Law Week.

High Court judge clarifies position on adoption for co-parenting families where relationship has ended
The Family Court has ruled that in co-parenting families one parent may adopt a child born to the other even if they are no longer partners. Full story: Local Government Lawyer.

Family lawyers expect to work from home post-Covid - survey
The majority of family law practitioners do not expect to rush back to the office post-Covid, according to early findings of a survey on future working arrangements. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

Judge hopes medical experts can continue to attend remotely
A judge who investigated the reasons behind a chronic shortage of medical experts in the family justice system hopes the days when an expert witness had to trek miles to attend court in person are now over. Full story: Law Society Gazette.

HMCTS services: online divorce and financial remedy
A new fully digital system for individuals and legal representatives. Full story: HM Courts & Tribunals Service.

Court of Appeal permits Russian wife to bring billion dollar High Court case
The Court of Appeal has overturned the decision to set aside permission that Natalia Potanina had been granted to make an application against her former husband Vladimir Potanin for financial relief under Part III of the Matrimonial and Family Proceedings Act 1984. Full story: Family Law Week.

Current provision of Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programmes
Cafcass has issued with immediate effect, temporary guidance to support Family Court Advisers when making recommendations progressing cases in the current context where Domestic Abuse Perpetrator Programme provision is severely limited. Full story: Family Law Week.

Domestic Abuse Act 2021 commencement schedule
The Home Office has issued a schedule of the commencement dates of the provisions of each section of the Domestic Abuse Act 2021. Full story: Family law Week.

Mr Justice Cohen retires
Mr Justice Cohen retired from the High Court (Family Division) with effect from 9 May 2021, but will be authorised to act as Judge of the High Court until up to and including 2 January 2024 and will therefore continue to sit effectively full time. Full story: Family Law Week.


JK (A Child), Re (Domestic Abuse: Finding of Fact Hearing) [2021] EWHC 1367 (Fam) (21 May 2021)
Fact-finding hearing in private law children proceedings, concerning allegations of a pattern of coercive and/or controlling behaviour. Full report: Bailii.

A & B (Children), Re [2021] EWFC B28 (31 March 2021)
Final hearing of care proceedings concerning two children, the older child being the younger's maternal aunt. Full report: Bailii.

TT (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 742 (20 May 2021)
Appeal by mother from refusal of application to discharge care orders in relation to three of her children. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

H-M (Children) [2021] EWCA Civ 748 (19 May 2021)
Appeal from refusal of application to reopen findings of fact made in care proceedings, made in the light of different outcomes in family and criminal proceedings. Appeal dismissed. Full report: Bailii.

E (Adoption by One Person) [2021] EWFC 45 (18 May 2021)
Judgment considering issue of whether one person may apply for an adoption order, notwithstanding that they are no longer in a relationship with the child's parent. Full report: Bailii. See also my note, here.

XM v XF [2021] EWHC 1279 (Fam) (13 May 2021)
Final hearing of child arrangements proceedings, where both parents reside in Dubai. Full report: Bailii.

Cardiff City Council v A Mother & Ors [2021] EWFC 44 (17 May 2021)
Application by LA to withdraw care proceedings, following receipt of medical evidence indicating that there was no injury to child that crossed threshold. Full report: Bailii.